Apple updates App Review guidelines with new rules for kids apps


Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines this week, introducing a number of new and revised rules for developers. Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of a new section to the Guidelines on children’s applications.

The move likely has something to do with Apple’s recent push to get iPads into classrooms. The company recently revised its iTunes terms of service to allow children under the age of 13 to set up educational iTunes accounts…

Among the new rules for kids apps is one pertaining to the US government’s expansion of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA). This prevents developers from collecting kids’ photos, videos, and any personal info.

MacRumors has the new rules:

“17.3 Apps may ask for date of birth (or use other age-gating mechanisms) only for the purpose of complying with applicable children’s privacy statutes, but must include some useful functionality or entertainment value regardless of the user’s age

17.4 Apps that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, persistent identifiers, the ability to chat, or other personal data) from a minor must comply with applicable children’s privacy statutes.”

Also in the new ‘kids’ section is that apps for children under 13 must include a privacy policy and must ask for parental permission before engaging in commerce. They also can’t use behavioral advertising, or ads based on in-app activity.

It’s good to see Apple taking the appropriate steps here to ensure the protection of children as it continues its push into the classroom. Back in June, the company secured an iPad distribution deal with an LA school district worth $30 million.

Registered developers can view the full range of changes to the App Review Guidelines in the Dev Center.